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Exponent Engineers Receive SAE Award for Seatbelt Research

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June 17, 2008



WARRENDALE, Pa., June 12, 2008 – A team of engineers from Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm, is the recipient of SAE International's Colwell Merit Award. They were honored at the SAE 2008 World Congress in Detroit.


The Colwell Merit Award, established in 1965, annually recognizes the authors of outstanding papers presented at an SAE conference or SAE section meeting. The late Arch T. Colwell, who first funded this award, served SAE International in many capacities for nearly 50 years, including a term as President in 1941.


This award is funded through the SAE Foundation. In addition to supporting the awards, recognition and scholarship programs of SAE International, the SAE Foundation develops and funds programs and incentives that foster student interest in engineering, scientific and technical education.


The following recipients were recognized for co-authoring the paper, "Modeling the Effects of Seat Belt Pretensioners on Occupant Kinematics During Rollover" (SAE paper #2006-01-0246). The paper focuses on the capacity of pretensioners for altering and reducing occupant head excursion during the early phase of a steer-induced rollover.


William Newberry

Newberry is a managing engineer at Exponent. He works in the area of biomechanics at the office in Farmington Hills, Mich. An expert in the biomechanics of traumatic injury and human injury tolerance, he specializes in vehicle occupant dynamics and vehicle occupant restraint system performance. He also has experience in the experimental and computational analysis of occupant kinematics and restraint system performance during vehicle rollover.


Newberry is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and SAE International. He chairs the SAE Occupant Protection technical committee.


Newberry holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and a master's in applied mechanics from Michigan State University.


William Lai

Lai is Chief Technical Officer of Third Eye Diagnostics, a medical device venture that develops diagnostic tools for brain injury. Previously, Lai was a senior engineer at Exponent, Inc., where he worked in accident reconstruction, injury biomechanics and computational modeling of occupant kinematics and injury using MAthematical DYnamic MOdel (MADYMO) simulations.


Lai has published more than 10 technical papers addressing occupant kinematics during vehicle rollover using MADYMO simulations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and master’s and doctorate degrees in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Philadelphia.


Michael Carhart

Carhart is a principal engineer at Exponent. He works for the firm's Biomechanics Practice in Phoenix, Ariz. His work focuses on the biomechanics of human injury and accident reconstruction, especially musculoskeletal dynamics and occupant dynamics, human injury tolerance, vehicular rollover and occupant-to-glazing interaction. Prior to joining Exponent, he was a research scientist at the Arizona BioDesign Institute and a consultant with Forensic Dynamics, LLC.


Carhart has authored or co-authored more than 13 technical publications on topics related to rollover, occupant kinematics and biomechanics. He has been honored with the Sachiko Yahashi Memorial Award from the International Society for Skiing Safety. He was a Regent’s Graduate Academic Scholar Award from Arizona State University and a Presidential Scholar at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He is a member of several honorary societies, including Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma and Eta Kappa Nu.


Carhart is a member of SAE International, the International Society of Biomechanics, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.


Carhart holds a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and a doctorate in bioengineering from Arizona State University. He resides in Phoenix, Ariz.


Darrin Richards

Richards is a senior engineer at Exponent, where he works in the Test and Engineering Center in Phoenix, Ariz. He has 10 years of experience in injury biomechanics and accident reconstruction. His areas of concentration are vehicle and occupant dynamics, simulation of human kinematics, and injury tolerance. In addition, he has contributed to the field of helmet safety through research studies, technical publications and committee work.


Richards is an active member of several technical societies and their associated committees, including SAE International, the International Society of Biomechanics and the American Society for Testing and Materials. He holds two bachelor’s degrees; one in mathematics from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and one in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. He also holds a master’s in bioengineering from Arizona State University. He resides in Phoenix, Ariz.


Jeff Brown

Brown is a senior engineer at Exponent. He works for the firm's Vehicle Engineering Practice in Phoenix, Ariz. His work focuses on the design and testing of suspension and brake systems for passenger cars, light trucks and off-road recreational vehicles. Prior to joining Exponent, Brown was a site manager of Link-West, Inc., and a development engineer at Arvin Ride Control Products.


Brown has published two technical papers and holds one patent for a light brake apparatus. He is a member of SAE International and several honorary societies, including Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary society; Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honorary society; and Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honorary society.


Brown received a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Lawrence Technological University. He resides in Phoenix, Ariz.


Christine Raasch

Raasch is a principal engineer at Exponent in Phoenix, Ariz. Her work involves the analysis of traumatic injuries associated with motor vehicle and other accidents, computer simulation of occupant motions, and analysis of vehicle restraint system performance. Raasch also directs Exponent’s Anthropomorphic Test Dummy (ATD) laboratory and provides consulting on ATD biofidelity issues. Previously, she was a post-doctoral fellow and researcher at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, and a Biomedical Engineer in the Rehabilitation Research & Development Center of the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Health Care System.


Raasch is a member of SAE International, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She served on the Program Committee for the 2007 American Society of Biomechanics Annual Meeting.


Raasch holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona, and a master’s and doctorate in the same discipline from Stanford University. She resides in Phoenix, Ariz.


For more information on the award recipients from Exponent, please contact Angela Meyer at Exponent, ameyer@exponent.com.


For more information about SAE International’s Arch T. Colwell Award, please contact pr@sae.org.


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